In 1838, 19 year old Queen Victoria was enjoying her second year on the British throne. Victoria decided to move the main London residence of the monarch to Buckingham Palace.
Several people must have wondered what life inside the Palace was like, and one decided to find out for himself.
A 14 year old boy called Edward Jones disguised himself as a chimney sweep and had a good old nose around the Palace. By the time he was spotted by a porter he was in the Marble Hall about to leave. He was chased all the way to St James St, where it was discovered that he had pinched a sword and a pair of knickers belonging to Queen Victoria that he’d hastily stuffed down his trousers. Let off lightly, Jones was spared prison but had apparently not learnt his lesson.
Two years later Jones thought it might be nice to pop by the Palace and congratulate Vicky on the birth of her first child. He popped by on the 30th November and the 1st of December, finally being found hiding beneath the Queen’s sofa.
This time Jones could not escape jail time. He served 3 months in a correctional facility.
But Eddie had apparently developed quite the taste for fine living. A fortnight after his release from prison, Jones sneaked in for a bit of afternoon tea. Poor Ed was sentenced to a further three months jail time. Even after two prison stays Jones kept trying to get back in, even walking all the way from Portsmouth once, but by now security was finally a bit tighter.
6 decades later Edward VII came to the throne and moved in to mummy’s old digs. The King liked his art and ordered a few new pieces for his collection. A workman from an art gallery duly brought several paintings to the Palace. He was led to the room in which the paintings were to hang and was left for a short while to unpack the pieces. After he’d finished he waited to be escorted back out to the street. No-one came, the deliveryman had been forgotten. What should he do? Buckingham Palace is famously labyrinthine to the uninitiated and it would be highly inappropriate and embarrassing to wander around getting lost. The only option was to politely wait. Bored witless, he sat down at a desk and twiddled his thumbs. Eventually he got so bored that he started writing a letter to pass the time, using some of the Buckingham Palace letterheaded paper.
He was caught out by the King himself, who was incredibly tickled when he peered over to read what the deliveryman was writing:
“Dear Dad, please note the change of address…”